Advertisement

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 299–312 | Cite as

Parents’ Attitudes about and Socialization of Honesty and Dishonesty in Typically-Developing Children and Children with Disruptive Behavior Disorders

  • Lindsay C. MalloyEmail author
  • Allison P. Mugno
  • Daniel A. Waschbusch
  • William E. PelhamJr
  • Victoria Talwar
Article

Abstract

Although parents are significant sources of socialization in children’s lives including with respect to their moral behavior, very little research has focused on how parents socialize children’s honesty and dishonesty, especially parents of atypically developing children for whom lying is of substantial concern. We surveyed 49 parents of typically-developing (TD) children (Mage = 7.49, SD = 1.54) and 47 parents of children who had been diagnosed with a disruptive behavior disorder (DBD; Mage = 7.64, SD = 1.39) regarding their beliefs and attitudes about honesty and dishonesty, including in response to hypothetical vignettes; their messages to their children about honesty and dishonesty (e.g., punishment); and their own lying behavior and perceptions of their child’s lying behavior. Results revealed that, in comparison to parents of TD children, parents of children with DBD reported (a) more punitive reactions to children’s lying behavior, including in response to the hypothetical vignettes, (b) less encouragement of dishonesty among their children, and (3) perceiving their children as more prolific and sophisticated liars. Findings shed light on potential sources of individual differences in children’s lie telling and may have implications for interventions for children with DBD and their parents.

Keywords

Lying Deception Parenting Socialization Disruptive behavior disorders 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We wish to thank the following students who assisted with data collection and coding: Melisa Alonso, Erika Barrios, Christina Borgan, Amy Castro, Melissa Cruz, Jacqueline Gener, Alis Hernandez, Marilaura Maldonado, Gabriel Mejias, Elizabeth Miguel, Francis Pepe, Karina Perez, Jennifer Sandoval, Andrea Sardi, Kiara Taquechel, and Daniella Villalba. Preparation for this article was supported in part by intramural funds from the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University. We are grateful to Elizabeth Gnagy and Dr. Erika Coles for facilitating data collection and the parents who participated in the research.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Achenbach, T. M., & Rescorla, L. A. (2001). Manual for the ASEBA School-Age Forms & Profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth, & Families.Google Scholar
  2. Alston, L. (1980). Defining misconducts: Parents vs. teachers in head start centers. Child Care Quarterly, 9, 203–205.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01573551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bansal, P. S., Waschbusch, D. A., Haas, S. M., Babinski, D. E., King, S., Andrade, B. F., & Willoughby, M. T. (2018). Effects of intensive behavioral treatment for children with varying levels of conduct problems and callous-unemotional traits. Behavior Therapy. Advance online publication.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2018.03.003.
  4. Barnes, J. A. (1994). A pack of lies: Towards a sociology of lying. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baumrind, D., Larzelere, R. E., & Cowan, P. A. (2002). Ordinary physical punishment: Is it harmful? Comment on Gershoff (2002). Psychological Bulletin, 128, 580–589.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.128.4.580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brehaut, J. C., Miller, A., Raina, P., & McGrail, K. M. (2003). Childhood behavior disorders and injuries among children and youth: A population-based study. Pediatrics, 111, 262–269.  https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.111.2.262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burke, J. D., Loeber, R., Mutchka, J. S., & Lahey, B. B. (2002). A question for DSM-V: Which better predicts persistent conduct disorder--delinquent acts or conduct symptoms? Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 12, 37–52.  https://doi.org/10.1002/cbm.485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bussey, K. (1999). Children's categorization and evaluation of different types of lies and truths. Child Development, 70, 1338–1347.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chronis, A. M., Jones, H. A., & Raggi, V. L. (2006). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 26, 486–502.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2006.01.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. DePaulo, B. M., Ansfield, M. E., Kirkendol, S. E., & Boden, J. M. (2004). Serious lies. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 26, 147–167.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01973533.2004.9646402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eyberg, S. M., Nelson, M. M., & Boggs, S. R. (2008). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents with disruptive behavior. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37, 215–237.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15374410701820117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fernández, M. C., & Arcia, E. (2004). Disruptive behaviors and maternal responsibility: A complex portrait of stigma, self-blame, and other reactions. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 26, 356–372.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0739986304267208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gershoff, E. T. (2002). Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviors and experiences: A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 539–579.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.128.4.539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gervais, J., Tremblay, R. E., & Héroux, D. (1998). Boys' lying and social adjustment in pre-adolescence: Teachers', peers' and self-reports. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 8, 127–138.  https://doi.org/10.1002/cbm.231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goodman, R. (1998). The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire: A research note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 581–586.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.1997.tb01545.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grice, H. P. (1980). Studies in the way of words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Grusec, J. E., & Davidov, M. (2010). Integrating different perspectives on socialization theory and research: A domain-specific approach. Child Development, 81, 687–709.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01426.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Handwerk, M., Field, C., Dahl, A., & Malmberg, J. (2012). Conduct, oppositional defiant, and disruptive behavior disorders. In P. Sturmey & M. Hersen (Eds.), Handbook of evidence-based practice in clinical psychology, Vol 1: Child and adolescent disorders (pp. 267–301). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  19. Heyman, G. D., Sweet, M. A., & Lee, K. (2009). Children's reasoning about lie-telling and truth-telling in politeness contexts. Social Development, 18, 728–746.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2008.00495.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Johnston, C. (1996). Parent characteristics and parent–child interactions in families of nonproblem children and ADHD children with higher and lower levels of oppositional-defiant behavior. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 24, 85–104.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01448375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lavoie, J., Leduc, K., Crossman, A. M., & Talwar, V. (2016). Do as I say and not as I think: Parent socialisation of lie-telling behaviour. Children & Society, 30, 253–264.  https://doi.org/10.1111/chso.12139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lavoie, J., Yachison, S., Crossman, A., & Talwar, V. (2017). Polite, instrumental, and dual liars: Relation to children's developing social skills and cognitive ability. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 41, 257–264.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025415626518.
  23. Lavoie, J., Wyman, J., Crossman, A.M., & Talwar, V. (in press). Lie-telling as a mode of antisocial action: Children’s lies and behavior problems. Journal of Moral Education.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240.2017.1405343.
  24. Levy, F., Hay, D. A., Bennett, K. S., & McStephen, M. (2005). Gender differences in ADHD subtype comorbidity. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 44, 368–376.  https://doi.org/10.1097/01.chi.0000153232.64968.c1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Loeber, R., Green, S. M., Lahey, B. B., Christ, M. A. G., & Frick, P. J. (1992). Developmental sequences in the age of onset of disruptive child behaviors. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1, 21–41.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01321340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Loeber, R., Wung, P., Keenan, K., Giroux, B., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., Van Kammen, W. B., & Maugham, B. (1993). Developmental pathways in disruptive child behavior. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 103–133.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579400004296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Loeber, R., Burke, J. D., Lahey, B. B., Winters, A., & Zera, M. (2000). Oppositional defiant and conduct disorder: A review of the past 10 years, part I. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 1468–1484.  https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200012000-00007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lorch Jr., R. F., Lorch, E. P., Calderhead, W. J., Dunlap, E. E., Hodell, E. C., & Freer, B. D. (2010). Learning the control of variables strategy in higher and lower achieving classrooms: Contributions of explicit instruction and experimentation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 90–101.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0017972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ma, F., Evans, A. D., Liu, Y., Luo, X., & Xu, F. (2015). To lie or not to lie? The influence of parenting and theory-of-mind understanding on three-year-old children’s honesty. Journal of Moral Education, 44, 198–212.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240.2015.1023182.Google Scholar
  30. Maccoby, E. E. (1992). The role of parents in the socialization of children: An historical overview. Developmental Psychology, 28, 1006–1017.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.28.6.1006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Moffitt, T. E. (1993). Adolescent-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: A developmental taxonomy. Psychological Review, 100, 674–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mugno, A. P., Malloy, L. C., Waschubush, D. A., Pelham, W. E., & Talwar, V. (in press). An experimental investigation of antisocial lie-telling among children with disruptive behavior disorders and typically-developing children. Child Development.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12985.
  33. Norvilitis, J. M., Scime, M., & Lee, J. S. (2002). Courtesy stigma in mothers of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Attention Disorders, 6, 61–68.  https://doi.org/10.1177/108705470200600202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ouyang, L., Fang, X., Mercy, J., Perou, R., & Grosse, S. D. (2008). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms and child maltreatment: A population-based study. The Journal of Pediatrics, 153, 851–856.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.06.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Patterson, G. R. (1982). Coercive family process (Vol. 3). Eugene, OR: Castalia Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  36. Pelham, W. E., Gnagy, E. M., Greenslade, K. E., & Milich, R. (1992). Teacher ratings of DSM-III—R symptoms for the disruptive behavior disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 31, 210–218.  https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-199203000-00006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pelham, W. E., Fabiano, G. A., & Massetti, G. M. (2005). Evidence-based assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34, 449–476.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15374424jccp3403_5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pelham, W. E., Gnagy, E. M., Greiner, A. R., Fabiano, G. A., Waschbusch, D. A., & Coles, E. K. (2017). Summer treatment programs for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In J. R. Weisz & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for Children and Adolescents (3rd ed., pp. 215–232). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  39. Popliger, M., Talwar, V., & Crossman, A. M. (2011). Predictors of children’s prosocial lie-telling: Motivation, socialization variables, and moral understanding. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 110, 373–392.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2011.05.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Reeves, J. C., Werry, J. S., Elkind, G. S., & Zametkin, A. (1987). Attention deficit, conduct, oppositional, and anxiety disorders in children: II. Clinical characteristics. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 26, 144–155.  https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-198703000-00004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Scaramella, L. V., & Leve, L. D. (2004). Clarifying parent-child reciprocities during early childhood: The early childhood coercion model. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 7, 89–107.  https://doi.org/10.1023/B:CCFP.0000030287.13160.a3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Shaw, D. S., & Bell, R. Q. (1993). Developmental theories of parental contributors to antisocial behavior. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 21, 493–518.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00916316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Shaw, D. S., Owens, E. B., Giovannelli, J., & Winslow, E. B. (2001). Infant and toddler pathways leading to early externalizing disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 40, 36–43.  https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200101000-00014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sibley, M. H., Pelham, W. E., Molina, B. S. G., Gnagy, E. M., Waschbusch, D. A., Biswas, A., … Karch, K. M. (2011). The delinquency outcomes of boys with ADHD with and without comorbidity. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 39, 21–32.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-010-9443-9.
  45. Smetana, J. G. (1999). The role of parents in moral development: A social domain analysis. Journal of Moral Education, 28, 311–321.  https://doi.org/10.1080/030572499103106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stouthamer-Loeber, M. (1986). Lying as a problem behavior in children: A review. Clinical Psychology Review, 6, 267–289.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0272-7358(86)90002-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sweetser, E. E. (1987). The definition of "lie": An examination of the folk models underlying a semantic prototype. In D. Holland & N. Quinn (Eds.), Cultural models in language and thought (pp. 43–66). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Talwar, V., & Crossman, A. M. (2011). From little white lies to filthy liars: The evolution of honesty and deception in young children. In J. B. Benson (Ed.), Advances in child development and behavior (pp. 139–179). San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Talwar, V., & Crossman, A. M. (2012). Children’s lies and their detection: Implications for child witness testimony. Developmental Review, 32, 337–359.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dr.2012.06.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2002a). Development of lying to conceal a transgression: Children's control of expressive behaviour during verbal deception. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 26, 436–444.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01650250143000373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2002b). Emergence of white-lie telling in children between 3 and 7 years of age. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 48, 160–181.  https://doi.org/10.1353/mpq.2002.0009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2008). Social and cognitive correlates of children's lying behavior. Child Development, 79, 866–881.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01164.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2011). A punitive environment fosters children’s dishonesty: A natural experiment. Child Development, 82, 1751–1758.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01663.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Talwar, V., Murphy, S. M., & Lee, K. (2007). White lie-telling in children for politeness purposes. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 31, 1–11.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025406073530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Talwar, V., Crossman, A., Williams, S., & Muir, S. (2011). Adult detection of children’s selfish and polite lies: Experience matters. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41, 2837–2857.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00861.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Talwar, V., Renaud, S. J., & Conway, L. (2015). Detecting children's lies: Are parents accurate judges of their own children's lies? Journal of Moral Education, 44, 81–96.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240.2014.1002459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Talwar, V., Lavoie, J., Gomez-Garibello, C., & Crossman, A. M. (2017). Influence of social factors on the relation between lie-telling and children’s cognitive abilities. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 159, 185–198.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2017.02.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Turiel, E. (1983). The development of social knowledge: Morality and convention. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Waller, R., Gardner, F., Hyde, L. W., Shaw, D. S., Dishion, T. J., & Wilson, M. N. (2012). Do harsh and positive parenting predict parent reports of deceitful-callous behavior in early childhood? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53, 946–953.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02550.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wilson, A. E., Smith, M. D., & Ross, H. S. (2003). The nature and effects of young children's lies. Social Development, 12, 21–45.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9507.00220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Xu, F., Bao, X., Fu, G., Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2010). Lying and truth-telling in children: From concept to action. Child Development, 81, 581–596.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01417.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology & Center for Children and FamiliesFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Pennsylvania State University Milton S. Hershey Medical CenterHersheyUSA
  3. 3.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations